You’ve got your motorcycle license and you are ready to get on the road and into the motorcycle world, but you have to make the decision about what kind of bike you want to buy. There are so many brands and different models on the market that it’s hard to know how to choose a motorcycle. You should base your decision on your own needs, your skill, and of course, the price.
How to choose a motorcycle
When you first start riding, you should begin by buying a smaller motorcycle that’s easy to control when you don’t have much experience. Make sure whatever bike you are interested in is:
Comfortable and of a suitable size
“How big of a motorcycle should I get?”
It’s a common question among riders. If you cannot put both feet flat on the ground when the bike is upright, it’s too tall for you. You will want to learn to be a good rider and how to have total control over the bike rather than concerning yourself with a bigger, more expensive model. You may not realize just how much power a larger bike has until you start riding it. No matter your level of experience, take a riding course. A good riding course will teach you how to avoid accidents, familiarize yourself with potential road hazards, and allow you to become more comfortable on a motorcycle. There are motorcycle safety training classes at every level, an internet search of local motorcycle safety classes should turn up classes near you.
Ability and goals as a rider
Another thing to consider is the kind of riding you’ll be doing. The smaller and compact bikes will provide you with a good ride, and are more economical. The downside is that you cannot travel long distances before having to stop for gas. Some people prefer sportbike models for racing on tracks and for their superior handling characteristics at high speeds and in tight turns, while others prefer the touring style bikes for long, relaxing trips or when traveling with passengers. If you’re going to be using your bike regularly on longer weekend trips, you might go with a cruiser style. These bikes tend to be extremely versatile and can be used for long trips with comfortable riding.
If you’re buying a new bike, depending on the model and the features it has, you could pay anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000, or more. In some ways it’s similar to buying a new car, most motorcycle dealers will try to work out financing for you if you need it.
How do I choose the right motorcycle?
When you’re motorcycle shopping, you should also think about whether or not you actually need a new bike. If you’re a novice rider, or if you’ve been away from it for a long time, you may want to buy a used bike to start off with. Used motorcycles tend to be a lot more affordable than a new motorcycle, and you might not have to deal with financing. If you’re planning to use the bike merely for commuting to save money, a new model isn’t necessary. In fact, you’ll likely save 25%-30% or more buying used. Give yourself time to get accustomed to riding and if in a year or two you do decide that you want to take the plunge and splurge on a new bike, you’ll know by then if it’s the right decision. If you do decide on a used bike be sure to:
- Have a knowledgeable third party inspect the condition of the bike.
- Ask to see the maintenance and service records and receipts as a condition of purchasing the bike.
- Avoid any bike with damage to the body, scratches or signs of wear or any bike that is leaking oil, this can be a sign of poor maintenance or pending repairs.
We’ll see you on the road
Whatever your decision or type of motorcycle, we look forward to seeing you on the road!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to receive industry news, motorcycle related videos and updates on upcoming events.